The highest class of single-seat auto racing is home to action, suspense, and drama. From nail-biting finishes to miraculous recoveries, here are our top 5 Formula 1 race endings.
1. From Last to first:
Jenson Button, 2011 Canadian Grand Prix
It was a long battle with a sweet victory for Button in 2011. Heavy rain caused Button to tangle with, at the time his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. He then goes on to incur a drive-through penalty for speeding behind the safety car, a lengthy red flag stoppage followed shortly afterward. He collided with Fernando Alonso and picked up, what was thought to be a race-ending puncture. However, he rejoined the race in last place.
With six laps to go, Button passed Mark Webber for P3, and then Michael Schumacher for P2. Before an incredible drive was completed by passing Sebastian Vettel on the last lap. At over 4 hours it remains the longest and arguably the craziest race in F1 History.
Video Credit: Formula 1
2. Neck and neck:
Peter Gethin, Ronnie Peterson and others, 1971 Italian Grand Prix
There have been a handful of truly great side-by-side finishes to F1 races in the past. But the 1971 Italian Grand Prix comes head and shoulders above the rest. This was Peter Gethin’s only Grand Prix victory. Well, what a way to do it! Gethin whipped across the line Ronnie Peterson was alongside him as well as another three cars within six-tenths of a second behind him :
1. Peter Gethin, BRM
2. Ronnie Peterson, March-Ford +0.01s
3. Francois Cevert, Tyrrell-Ford +0.09s
4. Mike Hailwood, Surtees-Ford +0.18s
5. Howden Ganley, BRM +0.61s
Video Credit: AACForums
3. As the youngest ever triple world champion:
Sebastian Vettel, 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel didn’t need to cross the line first to take the title of a triple world champion. But after spinning out on the first lap it was unsure if the German driver would finish at all. However, Vettel went on to pass the chequered flag in 3rd of the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix becoming the youngest ever driver to have three champion titles.
Video Credit: Formula 1
4. Doing a somersault (whilst still in the car):
Christian Fittipaldi, 1993 Italian Grand Prix
No-one who saw the 1993 Italian Grand Prix will forget Christian Fittipaldi’s heart-stopping backflip across the finishing line. Fittipaldi was lucky just to survive, never mind actually make it across the line. Fittipaldi was trying to pass Minardi team-mate Pierluigi Martini for seventh place at the time. The two cars made contact and Fittipaldi’s M193 flew into the air. With incredible fortune he landed on all four wheels, still pointing the right way. Miraculously he still had enough momentum to get across the line.
Video Credit: Eltjo N.
5. Down to the wire:
Lewis Hamilton, 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix saw one of the closest battles for the championship in recent times. Lewis Hamilton arrived in Brazil with 94 points, 7 points ahead of Felipe Massa. Hamilton needed to finish only fifth or higher to become champion. Yet the race went down to the wire.
Heavy rain hit late on in the race, forcing many drivers to pit for wet tires. Hamilton immerged out of the pits in sixth place, Vettel followed closely behind. Hamilton slid wide on a corner and Vettel seized the opportunity to overtake. It came down to the last corner of the race when Hamilton overtook Glock to gain fifth position and subsequently the championship. Thus, Hamilton became World Champion by just one point, in what was one of the most nail-biting finales of recent history.